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American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
Flag of Our Union, September 24, 1859
Ballou’s Dollar Monthly, December 1859
 
The Guest-Chamber of the Inn at St. Ives
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From the Journal of a Detective
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by James Franklin Fitts
  notwith­standing that every effort had been made — would it not have been very strange and mysterious?”“I must agree with you that it would!”

“And by my life it is — the strangest thing I have ever known! It is not at all wonderful that men die from disease, or from accidents, but when we hear of death without apparent cause, and of which no explanation can be given, I am bound to say that it puzzles me beyond measure.”

“But do you mean to say, M. Berret, that there has been no apparent cause for these mys­terious deaths?”

“Ah — I forgot. In the back of each was a wound, apparently made by some sharp weapon. This was without doubt the cause of their deaths.”

“Such a wound, then, must have been . . .

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“It is strange,” said Monsieur Berret, “passing strange. I was never so sorely puzzled in my life.”

“It is not possible then, that you are laboring under any misapprehension?”

“Certainly not; have I not facts to deal with? Supposing, M. Guillot, that half-a-dozen dead bodies were to be found in a certain neighborhood in rapid succession, and under very suspicious circumstances — would it not be a fair conclusion that there had been foul play somewhere?”

“I should certainly deem it so.”

“Well — and if in addition to this let us suppose that no clue could be obtained which would even give color of guilt to any person,

   

 

 


 

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